Following on from my last post regarding choice of words and language I was fascinated last night by a passage in a book I was reading. It was John Wyndam’s wonderful “Day Of The Triffids”. Which I subsequently note is 60 years old this year.
It is a superb book I have not read for years but decided to pick up again a couple of days ago. Being the voracious reader I am it was finished within a couple of days, leaving me with a real sense of satisfaction and pleasure. For those people who have only ever seen the films you really should read the book – it is so much better – and actually a totally different story to the 1960s film version.
In particular the character “Coker” (who perhaps should have been a member of the PSA – professional speakers association) offered the following thoughts on communications:
“There’s a whole lot of people who don’t seem to understand that you have to talk to a man in his own language before he’ll take you seriously. If you talk tough and quote Shelley they don’t pay any attention to what you say. You have to talk the kind of lingo they’re accustomed to taking seriously.”
The above is a direct copy from the 1980 version of the book published by Penguin.
Isn’t it fascinating that a book published as long ago as 1951 (60 years) should actually be repeating key messages and ideas that we recognise today as conerstones of modern communication and marketing techniques?
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